Adventitious: The Lunch Box Journal
A week after the Neil’s marriage, Neil had planned a trip for himself and his wife. He was very skeptical about it. It was a trip to an island where one of the tourist attractions is the volcano. A few months earlier while he was researching for a perfect destination for the honeymoon, he felt that Bali was the easily accessible one and one of the places they both had wanted to visit. While there were many other options and choices, this was sort of a budget trip and Bali was finalized by Neil. Though in his research he came to know of one vulnerability about the volcano that they were planning to visit. This happened over sixty years ago and there were indication that it would happen again in near future. The date of which was unpredictable but this could put their while trip in a deadlock position if they were to travel and the inevitable were to happen. The volcanic eruption that was uncertain, if were to happen, would restrict the air travel as the ashes would by all over in the air and even though the airport is few too many miles away, the flights would still be affected by the ash floating around in the air. And keeping in mind the public safety, the airports will be shut down. But that was still unpredictable and it might happen or never happen at all. And if it were to happen, it could be after they come back from the trip. The latter hope was the risk that Neil decided to take. The dates were fixed and the tickets were booked and Neil got busy in buying the matching dress(es) for his marriage.
A few weeks before marriage while Gautham was in his final packing for his flight out of the country, Neil got news of the Volcano being unstable and it could erupt anytime. Now, the earlier benefit of the doubt hope was in the backseat and Neil was confused whether to take the risk of traveling or drop the whole plan. The cancellation charges of the trip were huge as well. And they would be losing a lot more money than they plan for another place. It was a difficult spot to be in and Neil was more than confused so as to how to proceed with this trip. No coin toss or anything as a matte of fact was bringing any sort of answers to this dilemma. Eventually, after having being told that nothing would happen while they were there and if it were to happen, it will after they come back. So, keeping the encouragement of the people around him and bringing back that dying hope to life, he just crossed his fingers and decided not to cancel the tickets and take a chance after all. What was the worst that could happen?
It was a package deal that they would be covering certain places in the days that they were there. There were many such offers and plans that were available to Neil. He selected the one which he thought was optimal and the best of the given choices. Everything was going as per their plan until the day of the return.
Meanwhile, Neil was about to face his worst nightmare. The inevitable did happen eventually. The airport was closed down, the hotel guys knew about it, but they didn’t inform their tourist guests until they checked out. In this way they would case in more money in the time of a tiny crisis. It was sort of a done deal for Neil where he was in the critical place, having been the newly wed and in a foreign land. The worst of the whole blockade was that no one was helping or guiding them how to proceed further. The language barrier and the lack of contingency plan was a major problem that the tourists were facing. Everyone was very inattentive and vague in responding to questions and on top of that they were charging a hell lot of money, just because the tourists had no other chance and they had to rely on them for the accommodation and transportation. Thankfully, they met another couple at the airport struggling with the same problem. They teamed up with them and analyzed their options and came to a best possible plan. The plan consisted of them travelling to another place where the flights were available and the travelling was one tedious process. They had to book the flights again as the travel agency through which they had planned the trip weren’t giving a fair choice for their troubles. They didn’t want to get involved in such situation and that meant that the tourists had to find their own way back home.
The flights were booked and the travel to the next destination was en route, which was actually much better than the items that were there on the travel plan. The ocean on one side and lush greenery on the other side was surreal and truly a breath-taking experience. Their nineteen hour journey consisted of travelling by bus and taking a ” “, and then again travelling for a little more. After a hectic yet memorable journey they reached their one part of the destination. Due to the last moment bookings, the flight prices were huge and they had to take a few too many connecting flights. There was another wrinkle. One of the connecting flight that they had booked was going through a place which was likely to be hit by cyclone. This news didn’t ease their minds as they reached the airport. While they had to wait for a night before they could board their flight back home through the place that might get hit by uncertain cyclone, all the well wishers prayed that there be no more wrinkles. Fortunately for them the prayers were answered and the cyclone took a day off on the day their flight was scheduled. After an unexpected eventful journey they reached home safe and sound. It might be one of those stories that they will tell as bed time stories down the line.
(To be Continued …)